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2020 hopeful Michael Bennet: 'I don't think I'm out of step' in saying socialism is not the answer

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetSenators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China Democrats push Biden to include recurring payments in recovery package Democrats: Minimum wage isn't the only issue facing parliamentarian MORE (D-Colo.), a 2020 presidential hopeful, said on Sunday that his dismissal of socialism as a solution for America is not out of the mainstream for the Democratic Party.

"I don't think I'm out of step," Bennet told ABC’s “This Week.” "I think we have 230 years of being the longest-lived democracy on the planet. That's something we need to preserve."

 

 

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Bennett made the comments in response to a viral moment in which his fellow Democratic presidential candidate, former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperSenate rejects Cruz effort to block stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Third approved vaccine distributed to Americans Democrats hesitant to raise taxes amid pandemic MORE, was booed at the California Democratic Convention over the weekend for saying a candidate espousing socialism could not defeat President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE in 2020.

Quipping that Hickenlooper’s primary error was “denounc[ing] socialism in San Francisco,” Bennet conceded that “we have had 40 years of no economic mobility in the United States … 90 percent of the American people have not shared in the economic growth over the last 40 years.”

For those not reached by the benefits of economic growth, Bennet said, “those periods of economic growth have acted as a recession, and as a result, they can’t afford the basic components of a middle-class life.”

A poor American’s chances of advancing to the middle class, Bennet added, are lower now than they have been in generations.

“That is tearing at our democracy, and if we don’t figure out a way to address it… we’re going to have real problems,” he said, saying that candidates need not embrace socialism to believe in the idea that “everyone has a share in our prosperity.”

Bennet, who is on the moderate end of the Democratic primary field, made headlines last week when he volunteered to work with one of the faces of the progressive flank of his party, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezProgressives won't oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - J&J vax rollout today; third woman accuses Cuomo MORE (D-N.Y.), and one of the most conservative Republican senators, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz Cruz puts hold on Biden's CIA nominee It will be Vice (or) President Harris against Gov. DeSantis in 2024 — bet on it Senate rejects Cruz effort to block stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants MORE (R-Texas), on legislation to ban former members of Congress from corporate lobbying.